223 Memory Lane

Included in the box of Kristi Vaughn's family treasures was this valentine crafted by her father in 1953.

I decided to write something a little different than my usual senior living topics. I have a story to tell.

I come from a family that has shared and saved many things from our past. I am blessed to have a mother that thinks of family history as an amazing trip down...let’s call it 223 Memory Lane. She has cherished and saved many things from the past of her children (she gave me every stuffed animal and doll I ever owned), but also of her own parents and my father’s parents, their parents and beyond. She has shared these treasures verbally, in written form and with pictures and trinkets. 

I have these precious memories all over my house, in plain sight and also tucked away safely. Recently I went through a wonderfully organized box that my mother made for me and also one for each of my two brothers. I need to go through theirs too, because she shared different things with each of us. Inside the box held photos of our family going as far back as 1897. 

It also had report cards from my dad and mom, a valentine made by my dad for my grandma when he was just a boy, a train fare token from Honolulu dated 1924, postcards written during WWII, my great grandfather’s nursing home and visiting nurse receipts from 1967, old cider labels dating to the 1960s from my grandfather’s apple orchard, a coin from 1902, my grandmother’s hospital bill after giving birth to my mom in 1943, an old autograph book from 1888 and I could go on and on! 

Looking at these photos and touching the trinkets allowed me to take a trip down 223 Memory Lane and I ended up spending the whole day with my treasure box! Seeing how certain family members resemble others, thinking how just 44 years ago the cost of things were so much less than today seems almost unrreal, and the mental picture of my daddy cutting the lacey paper to make his mom’s valentine simply took me back to a place and time that I otherwise would never have been able to experience. 

I also found a note from my mom that two sets of my great-grandparents, as well as my maternal and paternal grandparents were fortunate enough to reach their 50th wedding anniversaries. My parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year.

I wish everyone could have their own family treasures that I am so fortunate to possess, but I realize that is probably the exception these days and not the norm. It’s no secret that today’s world is fast-paced and things are so different from years gone by. I can’t slow that down for my daughter, just like my mother couldn’t for me, but I can pass down these wonderful pictures, stories and trinkets of our past to her one day, just like my mother did for me!

Kristi Vaughn

I am a Licensed Social Worker and owner of Adult Comfort Care: A Person Centered in-home assisted living resource for seniors and their families.

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.16.2012